Low-friction Harken blocks stand out in PSs fairlead test field.
There was a time when headsail handling meant snapping on bronze piston-hanks and hauling on a smooth-running halyard. Times have changed, and now its all about how the furling drum rotates and the headsail wraps around a foil-covered headstay or freewheeling torque rope. (See PS August 2009 for our in-depth jib furler comparison.) Some systems behave more willingly than others, but all benefit from low-friction leads guiding the furling line back to the cockpit. The following report takes a close look at how these fairleads stack up and how much efficiency they add to the furling process.